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An Evening With Mere Mortals – Smock Alley – Review

An Evening With Mere Mortals – Smock Alley – Review
by Brian Merriman

16 – 21 Jan – 8pm, 3pm on Sat – Boys’ School – Duration: 65 minutes
Photo credit is Matthew Williamson

Mere Mortals is packing them in at the Boys School in Smock Alley. Expectations are high when the safety announcement gets an enthusiastic response. It graduates upwards when the Narrator’s (Kieran Roche) first word ‘Life’ has people in peels of laughter and so it continues for the next 65 minutes.

As for the plot, no review should give that away, but the genre was ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ with a little bit of ‘Rocky Horror’ thrown in. There was a myriad of characters regardless of gender and the timing and pace were sharp and well-executed.

The clever sound effects and fight sequences reminisced of TV’s ‘Batman’ in the 60s and at times every word or gesture had the audience shrieking with delight.

There are two main episodes in this quasi-anti-globalisation plot that pitches evil bespoke traditionalists against evil mass-produced perpetrators. ‘Don’t trust anyone’ is the advice and that is the play’s one truism.

We have an English-accented ‘John Chesterton’ (how he passed the Irish language test is beyond me) well played by Jack Murphy, working in Ireland as a nerdy civil servant who is being ‘programmed’…but for what purpose?

We rapidly meet a myriad of characters, accents and ethnic origins (very well done Dylan Tonge Jones) in the briskly fired dialogue which was well-directed and delivered with finesse by the company.

The second episode ignores all the original characters and introduces us to a swathe of new characters or caricatures, though I missed ‘Chico’ and ‘Sheils’ which were well played.

‘Billy’ (an impressive Dan Monaghan) replaces ‘John’ as our centre of concern and in true ‘Indiana’ fashion, we traverse the globe in our search for all the elements of the latest ‘holy grail’.

Throw in some twists, deaths, and historic turns and will our only true Dub remain standing at the end…and that’s how this adult farce should be! It is creative, implausible and well-played. If you tune into the wavelength of this adult fun and farcical plot you, like sections of the hugely appreciative audience, will love it… as they did!

DIRECTED BY Mere Mortals
PRODUCED BY Leanna Cuttle
LIGHTING DESIGN BY Ross Ryder
SET DESIGN BY Mere Mortals
SOUND DESIGN BY Dylan Tonge Jones

CAST: Dan Monaghan, Dylan Tonge Jones, Jack Murphy, Kieran Roche

 

Categories: Header, Theatre, Theatre Review

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